The showdown with Russian president Vladimir Putin comes at moment of surging global supplies of LNG, which can be diverted to European markets and reduce the Kremlin’s political leverage. The price of LNG in Asia has crashed from $20 to $11 per British thermal unit since February.
The pan-EU group Gas Infrastructure Europe said the network of LNG terminals in Britain and the Continent is currently operating at just 20pc of its full capacity. It could in theory boost flows by 160bn cubic metres (BCM), if there is available gas.
This is more than Russia’s entire shipments, which reached 155 BCM last year. The European network of pipelines does not cover every region and would leave pockets in eastern Europe without supply.
“We have a lot of free capacity in LNG in Europe. It would be extremely difficult to replace Russian gas in a just a few months but it is possible to raise supply,” said one official. Continue reading
America abandoned central Europe to try and make friends with Russia—and got nothing in return.
The Iskander-M is no Soviet relic. It is a thoroughly modern missile, designed to evade and confuse anti-missile systems. Probably battle-tested during Russia’s invasion of Georgia, Russia considers it “the most effective and deadly nonstrategic (and even perhaps strategic) ballistic missile in existence”—according to Stratfor emails revealed by Wikileaks last year. “Its high velocity allows the missile to penetrate antimissile defenses,” states the email. “It can fly low and make evasive maneuvers in order to prevent interception by surface air missiles.” The missiles are capable of carrying a nuclear warhead, but Russia has not admitted to developing one.
How did these missiles end up on Europe’s boarders? Continue reading